Shropshire Council

Sensory Inclusion Service

Who are we?

The Sensory Inclusion Service (SIS) supports children and young people with hearing and/or visual difficulties and their families. The aim is to provide a wide range of support to ensure children and young people have a good quality of life, achieve their academic potential and are included in their local community.

It's staffed by trained teachers of the deaf (TODs), qualified teachers of the visually impaired (QTVIs) and many other specialist staff who aim to provide a seamless service from the point of diagnosis until the child or young person leaves full-time education.

SIS is a joint service between Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council and Health. SIS supports children and young people in their homes, early years settings, schools, colleges and in the broader community.

It has well established partnerships with local voluntary organisations supporting the needs of children and young people with visual or hearing difficulties. SIS can put families in touch with these groups, including Shropshire Deaf Children’s Society (SDCS) providing support in relation to hearing impairment and oneVISion, providing support in relation to visual impairment.

SIS acts as an advocate for children and young people. Its services are planned and developed in consultation with children and young people and their families. The majority of children with visual or hearing difficulties are identified at an early age and support commences at this time.

Who can access the service?

We accept referrals primarily from health agencies, but also from parents/carers, schools and other agencies, but always with reference to medical advice regarding hearing and/or visual loss.

What do we offer?

  • Information on how to refer children for assessment for hearing or vision testing
  • Clear information about which children are seen by SIS and why
  • Information and advice to parents/carers, teachers and other organisations including training for school and colleges
  • Support for children and young people in their educational settings. This may include individual teaching/in class or in small groups
  • Support for families within the home
  • Work with other groups to ensure sensory impaired children’s needs are met effectively
  • Assessment of children’s hearing/vision in all environments to decide support levels
  • Assessment of language, communication and educational attainment using different tests and assessments
  • Advice on how to communicate with children and young people with hearing loss
  • Specialist advice to local authority as part of any assessment process such as education, health and care plans
  • Advice and support for the use of specialist equipment to ensure the inclusion of sensory impaired children
  • Modification of materials into appropriate formats to allow full visual and linguistic access
  • Individual support for modifications for external examinations
  • Teaching of Braille to educationally blind children and young people
  • Support for children and young people in accessing activities within their community and offer opportunities for sensory impaired children to meet together

What packages of support are available?

Yearly visits (school age)

SIS will visit children on yearly visit schedule either every year of in designated years depending on level of need.

Individual support to CYP

Circulate questionnaires to subject teachers when appropriate to ascertain impact of hearing loss on educational achievement.

  • Advise subject teachers/class teachers/SENCo's and support staff on how to maximise inclusion/minimise impact of hearing loss and language delay on academic attainment.
  • Submit report to inform parents, placement PCT and ENT Consultant to detail functioning and ongoing management.
  • Suggest strategies which foster inclusion and educational attainment based on assessments.
  • Support and advise on the facilitation of oral language modifications within exams.

Audiological management

  • Monitor hearing thresholds and inform ENT staff of changes.
  • Offer Immediate onward referral to ENT.
  • Carry out speech discrimination in noise and in quiet to establish functional listening ability and advising on management to ameliorate the impact on curriculum access.

Family support

  • Provide families with support at point of diagnosis.
  • Support and develop understanding of implications of hearing loss.

Termly visits (school age)

SIS present at point of hearing loss identification and referral to SIS:

  • Corporate register checked and CYP placed on caseload
  • Eligibility criterion applied
  • Teacher of the deaf allocated and contact made with family and school within 48 hours
  • Contact made with relevant partner agencies working with child and family.

Individual support to CYP

Risk assessment

  • Provide advice within a setting.
  • Advise on work experience placements.
  • Inform the risk assessment of educational visits.
  • Residential trips.

Reporting

  • Advise subject teachers/class teachers/SENCo's and support staff on how to maximise inclusion.
  • Minimise impact of hearing loss and language delay on academic attainment.
  • Submit regular reports to inform parents.
  • Placement and ongoing management.
  • Produce submissions for annual reviews.

Facilitating transitions

  • Links and advice to other settings.
  • SIS ‘Transition Day’ from Year 6 to 7.
  • SIS ‘Study Skills Day’ years 9/10/11.

Audiological management

  • Carry out regular electro-acoustic and listening checks of hearing devices to ensure they are working to specification.
  • Train school staff in basic checking and trouble shooting of hearing devices.
  • Offer telephone support over equipment issues to parents and schools as required.
  • Ensure equipment is maintained/replaced rapidly without educational time being lost in settings.
  • Carry out speech discrimination in noise and in quiet to establish functional listening ability and advising on audiological management to ameliorate the impact on curriculum access.

Additional audiological support

  • Monitor hearing loss thresholds and inform ENT staff of changes.
  • Offer Immediate onward referral to ENT.
  • Use assessments to inform clinical judgements on hearing aid effectiveness.

Linguistic and educational assessment

  • Conduct linguistic assessment (standardised and normative) based on age and linguistic stage of the child.
    Conduct educational assessments to measure progress in the development of vocabulary, literacy, listening skills.
  • Use linguistic/audiological analysis and educational assessments to inform classroom practice and to support applications for exam special arrangements (at all key stages and FE).
  • Suggest strategies which foster inclusion and educational attainment based on assessments.
  • Support and advise on the facilitation of oral language modifications within exams.

Inset delivery and the sharing of information

  • Provide ongoing advice to meet changing support needs (taking account of changes within of audiological profile, linguistic levels, equipment and environment).
  • Advice settings and other professionals at points of transition.
  • Supporting carers and extended families in understanding audiological, linguistic and educational implications of hearing loss.
  • Offer SIS ‘training days’ for children and young people.

Family support

  • Provide families with support at point of diagnosis.
  • Support informed choice through provision of unbiased and accessible.
  • Support and develop understanding of implications of hearing loss and develop deaf awareness within the immediate and wider family.
  • Foster and develop engagement from families with local services and agencies.
  • Support effective use of hearing aids within the home.
  • Ensure families are competent in the day to day management of all audiological equipment.

Relevant links will formed with:

  • ENT surgeons at PRH and RSH
  • Paediatricians
  • Audiological Centre Hospitals/regional centres
  • Social care professionals
  • Schools/FE/HE.

Social inclusion

  • Provide activities to develop peer support.
  • Provide advice and support with work experience.
  • Advise other agencies (FE / HE) on the needs of individual students.

Monthly visits (school age)

SIS present at point of hearing loss identification and referral to SIS:

  • corporate register checked and CYP placed on caseload
  • eligibility criterion applied
  • teacher of the deaf allocated and contact made with family and school within 48 hours
  • contact made with relevant partner agencies working with child and family.

Same as termly package but in addition:

Individual support to CYP

Differentiation

  • Advise on appropriate differentiation.
  • Use individual and small group work to facilitate and develop linguistic and listening skills to support the development of effective cross curricula skills.

Reporting

  • Support pupils in writing AR contributions.
  • Submit reports for Local Authority Statutory Assessment.

Facilitating transitions

  • Parent support and student preparation.

Audiological management

  • Support the provision of FM systems (if appropriate) for use in schools and for other non academic use. 
    Carry out regular electro-acoustic and listening checks of hearing devices/FM systems to ensure they are working to specification.
  • Train school staff in basic checking and trouble shooting of hearing devices and FM systems.
  • Carry out room acoustics measures and offer advice to schools on implications for educational access and effective inclusion.

Additional audiological support

  • Monitor wax levels offer immediate onward referral to ENT.
  • Make ear mould impressions in special schools.

Linguistic and educational assessment

  • Work with settings staff to draw up relevant and focussed targets based on assessments.
  • Advise on differentiation of materials on the basis of assessments.

Inset delivery and the sharing of information

  • Deliver focussed staff training (informed by audiological, linguistic and educational assessment and observation).

Family support

  • Same as termly support.

Social inclusion

  • Provide activities to decrease feelings of isolation and foster increased levels of participation within local community.
  • Develop Links with voluntary agencies to facilitate social inclusion.
  • Support families with DLA and Family Fund applications.
  • Support students with DSA and needs assessment for Higher Education.

Early years support for children prior to access to funded nursery sessions

  • Completion of Initial Assessment of Need.
  • Home visits from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf on a monthly basis.
  • Support to families to understand deafness and implications for communication development and support to families response to hearing loss detection.
  • Liaison and joint working with agencies working more intensively with the child and family at home.
  • Participation and contribution to any multi agency assessment to identify overall needs.
  • Support with transition to child minder/pre-school settings/nursery and INSET to those settings.

Weekly (multiple weekly) or fortnightly visits (school age)

SIS present at point of hearing loss identification and referral to SIS:

  • corporate register checked and CYP placed on caseload
  • eligibility criterion applied
  • teacher of the deaf allocated and contact made with family and school within 48 hours
  • contact made with relevant partner agencies working with child and family.

Same as monthly/termly Package but in addition:

Individual support to CYP

Development of communication skills and differentiation of the curriculum

  • Offer curriculum planning meetings with staff to advise on differentiation and deliver individual curriculum support.

Reporting

  • Submit reports to Health Professionals on the impact of hearing loss in educational settings.

Facilitating transitions

  • Parent support at times of transitions and Student preparation for transition.

Facilitate Multi agency Liaison

  • Develop links to other Local Authorities.
  • Acting as Lead Professionals using CAF/TAC process or Early Support Materials.
  • Work alongside Social Care Staff Audiological and other Health Agencies Child Development Centres National Centres (CI/Baha).

Audiological management and additional audiological support

  • Provide audiological assessment for non hearing aid wearers requested by ENT professionals assessing and reporting on the educational significance of hearing loss.
  • Advise parents/settings/ENT consultants on the appropriateness of hearing aid fitting in ‘borderline’ cases.

Linguistic and educational assessment

  • Complete video analysis to assess linguistic development and foster effective communication strategies within the school.

Inset delivery and the sharing of information

  • Deliver staff training (informed by audiological, linguistic and educational assessment and observation).

Family support

  • Develop positive communication strategies within the home (this will be based on observation and ongoing assessment and may include the use of video analysis).

Social inclusion

  • As for termly and monthly visits.

Early years support for children prior to access to funded nursery sessions

  • Completion of Initial Assessment of Need.
  • Regular home visits from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf- TOD decides frequency and timing of visits in liaison with family.
  • Support to families to understand deafness and implications for communication development and support to families response to hearing loss detection.
  • Offer to accompany family to hospital appointments during ongoing assessment.
  • Support families to develop their expertise, particularly around early interaction, communication and language.
  • Support to families and settings in the development of visual and signing support where families elect to use sign support.
  • Regular advice, monitoring, assessment and reporting of communication development and other milestones using Deaf Monitoring Protocol and other specialist assessment tools.
  • Enable families to record/acknowledge evidence about their child’s development and its significance.
  • Liaison and joint working with relevant agencies involved with the child.
  • Participation and contribution to any multi agency assessment to identify overall needs.
  • Encourage families to attend Family Group and meet with other families with hearing impaired children and older deaf children in a variety of settings.
  • Support with transition to child minder/pre-school settings/nursery and INSET to those settings.
  • Provide unbiased, accurate and up to date information about educational provision, communication options etc.

Contact us